Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Don't Try This at Home

Often we see commercials with subtitles warning us not to try this at home. Well, here is a woman's story of longevity not to be tried.
Winnie Langley figures she's just too old to butt out now. She's managed to defy health worries and the standard limitations on the human form by living to 101 years old -- while smoking every single day.

"You gotta have some vice," the English widow told Sun Media from her home in South London. "Some drink until it's coming out of their ears ... me, I smoke."

Spry Winnie, who struggles to figure out how to turn down the TV so she can better hear questions, has smoked more than 171,500 cigarettes during her long and remarkable life.

She was just seven years old when she lit her first one in 1914 -- days after the First World War began.

When she began, there weren't any health-warning labels or restrictions on where smokers could light up.
She is what we call the exception to the rule. When she started smoking cigarettes we were unaware of the health dangers involved. Anyone starting today has been warned repeatedly and is a fool to start.

The article ends with an easily understandable warning about reading too much into Winnie's longevity:
"We should draw no conclusions from the existence of a smoker who has lived to 90 or 100 in the same way as the existence of a soldier who survived the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy should lead us to conclude that machine gun fire isn't dangerous," he says.


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